Galveston Firefighters Receive Fireman’s Fund, Texas Agent Grant

August 19, 2009

The Galveston (Texas) Fire Department is still recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Ike, and in addition to flood damage to various firehouses, several of the department’s portable radios were damaged or completely destroyed during the storm.

Now, thanks to a $7,500 grant awarded by Independent Insurance Agents of Texas (IIAT) and Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company, the Galveston Fire Department will be able to repair or replace all of its damaged radios.

“For firefighters, being able to effectively communicate at emergency scenes is critical to our ability to protect and serve,” said Galveston Fire Chief Mike Varela. “With these funds, combined with a local matching program, all our firefighters will once again have a radio to carry into burning structures and during other emergency response operations.”

“We realize the devastating effects Ike had on this fire department, as well as the whole City of Galveston,” said David VanDelinder, executive director for IIAT. “Taking that into account, we’re extremely proud to support this community in a meaningful way.”

Chief Varela will be joined by Galveston firefighters and local officials as executives from IIAT and Fireman’s Fund present the grant package on Aug. 20. Chief Varela will discuss the department’s efforts to rebuild its equipment supply and infrastructure after Hurricane Ike.

The grant package is part of a nationwide philanthropic program funded by Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company. The program is designed to provide needed equipment, training and educational tools to local fire departments.

Since 2004, Fireman’s Fund has issued grants to over 1,400 different departments totaling more than $23 million. In the state of Texas, over $1.2 million has been awarded. Independent insurance agencies that sell Fireman’s Fund products are able to direct these grants to support fire departments. IIAT spearheaded the grant to the Galveston Fire Department.

Source: Independent Insurance Agents of Texas,; Fireman’s Fund Insurance,

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